Museums Home BMAGiC Home Search Browse BMAGiC Help About BMAGiC Contact Us

Engraving - Marriage la Mode Plate I

View main imageView larger image
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Additional Images

Click on each image below to view at full size:
View image 2 View image 3 View image 4 

Basic Information

Accession Number:1950P30
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1745 - 1745

Maker Information

After:William Hogarth - View biography for William Hogarth
Engraver:G Scotin - View biography for G Scotin


The 'Marriage la Mode' series was Hogarth's first to satirize the upper classes. In particular he was attacking arranged marriages for economic convenience. The series tells of the disastrous marriage of the Earl of Squanderfield's son, Viscount Squanderfield, to the daughter of a wealthy Alderman of the City of London.

In this first scene the Alderman is scrutinising the marriage contract whilst the Earl sits holding his family tree, with his foot raised to ease his gout. The money the Earl will gain from the marriage will help him to finish building a new mansion which can be seen through the window behind him. His son is more interested in admiring his own reflection in the mirror than admiring his prospective wife who is receiving the attentions of the Earl's youthful lawyer, Councillor Silvertongue.

The Earl's paintings all show scenes of murder and martyrdom, an insight into the future of the couple whose plight is represented by the two chained dogs at the Earl's feet.

Purchased from P and D Colnaghi Co Ltd, 1950.

Further Information

Production Period:18th century
School/Style:English School
Medium:Engraving on paper.


Height:458 mm
Width:570 mm